For the first time in decades, Grayson County has a new auditor.

While she is new to the top spot in the auditor’s office, Suzette Smith is a familiar face at the Grayson County Courthouse.

Smith started as an assistant auditor in August 2000 and worked her way up to first assistant auditor. A 1986 graduate of Pottsboro High School, she graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of North Texas in 1991.

Smith left her accounting job with a private firm because she had two small children at the time and wanted work with less stress and a more flexible schedule.

“I have loved working at the county all of these years,” she said.

Smith has been involved in almost all aspects of the auditor’s office over the years except for the budget process.

“Richey (Rivers) caught me up to date on that this summer as we went through the budget process together,” she said, adding that they threw a brand new financial software system into the mix too.

Smith said Rivers, who retired this year, provided a great working environment. It was, she said, a real family atmosphere, where they work “hard and smart, and do things the right way, even if it is not the easiest way.”

Smith said the team worked through personal and professional challenges together over the years, including several system conversions, different elected officials and many legislative changes that affected county government.

“The County Auditor’s office handles many areas of county finance,” Smith said. “We pay all the county’s vendors in compliance with laws and county policies established by the Commissioners Court. We audit payroll for almost 600 employees, complete grant and state financial reporting requirements, audit deposits/revenues from all departments, review bank reconciliations for all departments, account for the county’s fixed assets, county vehicle titles and registrations, county insurance/risk management, assist the county judge with budget and financial analysis as needed, provide information for (four) different external audits each year, and we perform internal audits of different departments of the county and assist with improving accounting processes all over the county,”

Smith’s new first assistant auditor is Nickie Harrison, who is also a CPA and comes from public accounting. In addition, the office’s staff includes four other assistant auditors who Smith called “top notch” including Luba Brewster, Maryjane Johnson, Tom Bryson and Margaret Lacey.

“I look forward to leading this group of talented and committed staff members, and I look forward to working with all officials and departments of the county,” Smith said in a written statement. “I am a big believer in TEAMwork and will encourage that in all that we do within the county, as an office.”